10 essential checks to keep your home healthyAnnual home maintenance could save you money
12 June 2012
Maintaining your home with simple annual checks and home repairs can save you time and money in the long run.
The National House-Building Council recommends that with winter behind us, now is the perfect time to ensure your home is healthy.
A stitch in time saves nine - so check these 10 home maintenance hot spots to ensure it remains problem-free all year round.
1. Check your roof for damage
Take a look at your roof from the ground to check for any obvious damage. If tiles have cracked or come loose, get a professional roofer to repair them in order to prevent problems worsening.
Find out the costs of employing a professional roofer in our guide.
2. Get your gutters cleared
Blockages in guttering can cause water damage if they start to overflow, so get a qualified tradesperson to clear any that have built up over winter, and to check for damage or problems that need to be fixed.
Use our trader recommendation Which? Local website to find a recommended tradesperson in your area.
3. Adjust your central heating system
Once the weather begins to warm up, switch to a cooler summer setting on your central heating to save energy and money. This is also a great time to get your annual boiler check and bleed radiators to remove any air pockets.
Take a look at our guide to buying and maintaining a boiler. We also recommend the best boiler cover.
4. Unblock drains
Overflowing drains can cause water damage. Check for any blockages, even small, and clear them so they don't lead to problems.
Discover how to clear your drains with our tips.
5. Maintain your solar panels
Although solar panels should be self cleaning, it's wise to remove large debris that could interfere with the workings of the panels. Be careful not to damage equipment and make sure you read manufacturer guidelines first. Only go onto your roof it is safe and easy to do so. If it's not easily accessible, call in a professional trader to clear your panels for you.
Thinking about installing solar panels? See our guide to find out if they are a worthwhile investment.
Also visit the new Which? Local forum to discuss energy topics.
6. Test your smoke detector
Smoke detectors should be checked and any batteries changed regularly. All types of smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
Which? members can discover the best batteries in our exclusive Best Buy review.
7. Tighten home security
Make sure annual checks on burglar alarms are carried out, and test locks on windows and doors to ensure they're in good working order.
See our guide to keeping your home secure for more tips and advice.
8. Nip plumbing jobs in the bud
Dripping taps or leaks are not only annoying but also waste water and money. Find a local plumber to fix issues before they worsen.
Visit Which? Local to find a plumber in your area recommended by other Which? members.
9. Repair and maintain garden fences and hedges
Garden fencing and hedges can act as deterrents to burglars as well as providing you with privacy. Repair any damage and repaint fences every three to five years. For hedges, an annual trim will encourage healthy growth and keep it neat. Formal hedges may need more regular trimming.
See our guide to trimming hedges for expert advice on how to do it and the best tools to use.
10. Weatherproof woodwork
Protect external woodwork from the elements by repainting or varnishing it every three to five years. It's best to do this during the summer months so the paint can dry quicker.